Day 96 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Sievierodonetsk almost Destroyed, Moscow wants to "Liberate Donbas"

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Sievierodonetsk almost destroyed

Officials in eastern Ukraine say the Russian shelling of Sievierodonetsk has been so intense that it has not been possible to estimate the casualties and damage as Moscow approaches the largest city still held by Ukraine in Donbas. Fighting is believed to be taking place in the streets and the city's "all critical infrastructure" has been destroyed, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukrainian authorities describe the conditions in Sievierodonetsk as reminiscent of those in Mariupol.

Russia wants to "liberate" Donbas

The "liberation" of the Ukrainian region of Donbas is an "unconditional priority" for Moscow, while other Ukrainian territories must decide their own future, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Zelensky visits Eastern Ukraine

Zelensky visited the troops in Kharkiv and toured the second largest city in the country to see the damage caused by Russian forces in the first official appearance of the Ukrainian president outside the Kyiv region since the beginning of the war. "Kharkiv has suffered terrible blows from the occupiers ... One-third of the Kharkiv region is still under occupation," he said. According to local authorities, more than 2,000 apartment blocks were completely or partially destroyed by Russian shelling in the region. About 31% of the territory of the Kharkiv region is occupied by Russian forces, and 5% have been liberated by Ukrainian defenders, said the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration....

Continue reading on: